Historic Quad-Partisan Presidential Election Forum Highlights Rising Influence of AAPI Vote

Bill Clinton, Sean Reyes, Gary Johnson, and Jill Stein Aim to Win Votes From Fastest Growing Racial Group

LAS VEGAS – On Friday, Hillary Clinton surrogate and former President Bill Clinton, Donald Trump surrogate and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson, and Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein addressed more than 2,500 journalists and community leaders in the largest gathering of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in the history of presidential campaign cycles.  

Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) and Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), with 40 partner organizations, hosted this historic Presidential Election Forum in the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, an election battleground state where nearly one in ten residents is AAPI.

“From Southeast Asia to the Indian subcontinent to Native Hawaiians, the AAPI community represents a heritage and history that spans the globe,” said APIAVote founding board member Daphne Kwok. “A recognition that this community is the lifeblood of our nation was cemented this week, as top campaign officials not only defined what AAPI meant to them personally, but also advanced discussions around how policies proposals from immigration and education to national security and trade are being focused on to empower the collective prospects of AAPIs across the country.”

During the forum, Rock the Vote announced its “Power Up” campaign, in partnership with APIAVote and youth organizations, focused on getting young AAPIs to vote. Congressman Mike Honda stated that 7,000 17-year-olds turn 18 every day. He also emphasized the power of AAPI voters to determine winners, particularly in six swing states and 85 congressional districts that are 10 percent AAPI.

AAPIs are the fastest growing racial group in the country, expected to grow from 20 million to more than 50 million by 2060. The rising influence of the AAPI community is evident in the past two election cycles, where the AAPI vote has been an important factor in election outcomes in key battleground states. In many of these states, the AAPI voter population either equaled or exceeded the margin of victory in previous presidential elections.

Congresswoman Judy Chu, who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), pointed out that in 2010, Nevada Senator Harry Reid won re-election in a tight race with the support of nearly four in five AAPI voters who made up four percent of the electorate.

Data from APIAVote’s 2016 State Factsheets show that nearly half of all registered Asian American voters identify education (48%), healthcare (47%), national security (47%), and jobs (45%) as extremely important to how they cast their ballot — issues that the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, and Green Party representatives addressed in the forum. This same block of eligible AAPI voters also represents vital margins in swing states across the country, holding the key to determining the winner of the Presidential election.

  • Arizona: 146,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 3% of the electorate
  • Florida: 372,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 2.5% of the electorate
  • Michigan: 145,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 1.8% of the electorate
  • Minnesota: 136,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 3.1% of the electorate
  • Nevada: 177,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 9% of the electorate
  • North Carolina: 136,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 1.8% of the electorate
  • Ohio: 127,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 1.3% of the electorate
  • Pennsylvania: 223,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 2.1% of the electorate
  • Virginia: 310,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 5% of the electorate

The historic forum plays a vital role in educating this segment of the electorate, ultimately empowering them to vote on Election Day and elevating their representative profile among national campaigns, voter mobilization programs, and global media outlets.

To access high-resolution photos from the event, visit here.

To access APIAVote’s 2016 State Factsheets, visit here.

A Word document press release can downloaded here.

Bill Clinton, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein to Appear at Historic AAPI Presidential Forum

UPDATE (8/12/16): Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes will represent Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in this event.

Former President Bill Clinton, representing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson, and Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein are set to address one of the largest gatherings of AAPI journalists and community members.

The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), with more than 20 partnering community organizations, are hosting a historic Presidential Election Forum in the Colosseum at Caesars Palace on August 12, 2016 at 2PM PT.

Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA) and Mike Honda (D-CA), from the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), along with other elected officials will also deliver remarks on the rising influence of the AAPI vote.

The Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are the fastest growing racial group in the country, growing from 20 million to more than 50 million by 2060.  The rising influence of the AAPI community is evident in the past two election cycles, where the AAPI vote has been an important factor in election outcomes in key battleground states.  In many of these states, the AAPI voter population either equaled or exceeded the margin of victory in a previous presidential election.

Recognizing the rising influence of the AAPI vote, campaigns are reaching out to AAPI community leaders and influencers to get their message out this election season. According to the AAJA, over 4,000 leaders from the AAPI community are expected to attend this event.

A livestream for this event is available, with language support in Cantonese Chinese, Mandarin Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.  Tune in at http://www.apiavote.org/townhall/live.

For those attending the event, doors open at 1:00 PM PT.  For more information on APIAVote and AAJA activities, contact Alton Wang (awang@apiavote.org) and Kathy Chow (kathyc@aaja.org).

For press inquiries, contact Benjamin Bryant, 703-868-1262, press@aapimediacenter.org.